Elder

Elder
   A name frequently used in the Old Testament as denoting a person clothed with authority, and entitled to respect and reverence (Gen. 50:7). It also denoted a political office (Num. 22:7). The "elders of Israel" held a rank among the people indicative of authority. Moses opened his commission to them (Ex. 3:16). They attended Moses on all important occasions. Seventy of them attended on him at the giving of the law (Ex. 24:1). Seventy also were selected from the whole number to bear with Moses the burden of the people (Num. 11:16, 17). The "elder" is the keystone of the social and political fabric wherever the patriarchal system exists. At the present day this is the case among the Arabs, where the sheik (i.e., "the old man") is the highest authority in the tribe. The body of the "elders" of Israel were the representatives of the people from the very first, and were recognized as such by Moses. All down through the history of the Jews we find mention made of the elders as exercising authority among the people. They appear as governors (Deut. 31:28), as local magistrates (16:18), administering justice (19:12). They were men of extensive influence (1 Sam. 30:26-31). In New Testament times they also appear taking an active part in public affairs (Matt. 16:21; 21:23; 26:59).
   The Jewish eldership was transferred from the old dispensation to the new. "The creation of the office of elder is nowhere recorded in the New Testament, as in the case of deacons and apostles, because the latter offices were created to meet new and special emergencies, while the former was transmitted from the earlies times. In other words, the office of elder was the only permanent essential office of the church under either dispensation."
   The "elders" of the New Testament church were the "pastors" (Eph. 4:11), "bishops or overseers" (Acts 20:28), "leaders" and "rulers" (Heb. 13:7; 1 Thess. 5:12) of the flock. Everywhere in the New Testament bishop and presbyter are titles given to one and the same officer of the Christian church. He who is called presbyter or elder on account of his age or gravity is also called bishop or overseer with reference to the duty that lay upon him (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17-28; Phil. 1:1).

Easton's Bible Dictionary. . 1897.

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  • Elder — is a surname. It may also refer to older people or to:In religion: * Elder (administrative title), position of authority * Elder (Christianity), person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a… …   Wikipedia

  • Elder — ist die englische Form des Wortes Ältester und bezeichnet: ein Amt in verschiedenen christlichen Konfessionen, siehe dazu auch Presbyter ein Amt in der Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage, siehe Priestertum (Kirche Jesu Christi der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elder — El der, n. [OE. ellern, eller, AS. ellen, cf. LG. elloorn; perh. akin to OHG. holantar, holuntar, G. holunder; or perh. to E. alder, n.] (Bot.) A genus of shrubs ({Sambucus}) having broad umbels of white flowers, and small black or red berries.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • elder — elder, eldest, older, oldest 1. Elder and eldest mean the same as older and oldest but they are much narrower in their range of use, being applicable only to people and only as nouns or attributive adjectives (before nouns). You can say his elder …   Modern English usage

  • Elder — Eld er, n. [AS. ealdor an elder, prince, fr. eald old. See {Old}, and cf. {Elder}, a., {Alderman}.] 1. One who is older; a superior in age; a senior. 1 Tim. v. 1. [1913 Webster] 2. An aged person; one who lived at an earlier period; a predecessor …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ELDER — (Heb. זָקֵן, zaken). In Israel, as among all other ancient peoples, the elder is not only a person of advanced age, but also a man of distinct social grade (cf. šībum in Akkadian, senator in Latin, geron in Greek, and sheikh in Arabic). The… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Elder — Eld er, a. [AS. yldra, compar. of eald old. See {Old}.] 1. Older; more aged, or existing longer. [1913 Webster] Let the elder men among us emulate their own earlier deeds. Jowett (Thucyd. ) [1913 Webster] 2. Born before another; prior in years;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • elder — elder1 [el′dər] adj. [ME < OE (Mercian) eldra, ældra, compar. < base of ald, eald, OLD] 1. born or brought forth earlier than another or others; exceeding another in age; senior; older 2. Obs. of longer standing or superior rank, position,… …   English World dictionary

  • Elder — Elder, 1) Sir Thomas, austral. Großkaufmann und freigebiger Förderer der Erforschung von Süd und Westaustralien, geb. 1818 in Kirkcaldy (Schottland), gest. 7. März 1897 in Adelaïde (Südaustralien), wanderte 1854 nach Südaustralien aus, betrieb… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • elder — ‘older’ [OE] is not, of course, the same word as elder the tree name [OE]. The former began life in prehistoric Germanic as *althizon, the comparative form of *althaz ‘old’. Gradually, the vowel i had an effect on the preceding vowel a, and by… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • elder — Ⅰ. elder [1] ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of one or more out of a group of people) of a greater age. ► NOUN 1) (one s elder) a person of greater age than oneself. 2) a leader or senior figure in a tribe. 3) an official or minister in certain Protestant… …   English terms dictionary

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